Synth Britannia: the synthpop surge in ’70s Britain.

A wonderful 2010 documentary from BBC Four, covering the late ’70s synthesizer bands. Interviews with the (original) Human League, Depeche Mode, Orchestral Manoeuvres, Vince Clarke, Gary Numan, New Order and the Pet Shop Boys.

YouTube copies keep getting takedowns from Warner Music, so if all else fails there’s this copy of a broadcast with Spanish subtitles.

If you’re in the UK, a 60-minute compilation Synth Britannia at the BBC is on iPlayer for the next twenty-three days. Switch on the subtitles for the lyrics.

2 thoughts on “Synth Britannia: the synthpop surge in ’70s Britain.

  1. Blimey, that’s a trip down memory lane!

    I think they missed out some of the contentious bits of Ultravox and Human League’s troublesome transition from way-out-there experimentalists to popstars.

    But the biggest we’re-in-the-future shock was the time it took me to recognise a long-forgotten relic of the past: a tape cassette of ‘Dare’ I probably still have and cannot play on anything I own today.

  2. I have a cassette deck and nothing to play on it ;-) They’re not expensive. Main expense is a bottle of pure isopropyl alcohol to clean the heads, because thirty-year-old tapes shed like a bugger.

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